Pipeline - Dermot Hyde & Tom Hake
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Pipeline - Dermot Hyde & Tom Hake

Chatham, New York, United States | INDIE

Chatham, New York, United States | INDIE
Band World Celtic


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Among the many versatile combinations playing Celtic music today, Pipeline occupies an intriguing position. An exciting duo with Dermot Hyde on uilleann pipes, whistles, vocals, small pipes, and Tom Hake playing bouzouki, guitar, and harp, the two musicians with their roots and backgrounds create a fresh individualistic slant on Celtic Music.

Pipeline’s repertoire comprises both traditional and brand new original music from Ireland, Scotland, Galicia, and Brittany – and tunes and songs of the typical "emigration-lands,” America, Canada and Australia. Revolving around the Uilleann pipes and guitar/bouzouki base, Pipeline effortlessly mixes the old with the new with the emphasis on the new.

One thing they are NOT is just another run on the mill Celtic band. Quite the opposite, Pipeline is a dramatic, highly motivated, emotionally charged animal that offers an exhilarating musical experience. My first reaction on hearing their debut album ‘Pipeline’ released on the Endirecto label was like being hit by a truck – it was a classic slap in the face situation that made me think ‘what was that?’ I just kept going, back to reason out what exactly caused such a dramatic reaction and quite simply put ‘Pipeline’ is an authoritative and inventive debut.

This is no ordinary three reels in three minutes affair, the music is complex, multi-faceted, and highly ornate with strong Breton and Galician influences creeping into the brew on occasion. Pipeline shares a preference for epic dramatic arrangements like US counterparts Bohola. On ‘Pipeline’, several pieces are in long suite like tracks some of which run to nine minutes duration. The originality quotient is high with song material hitting every spot between Christy Moore balladry and Robin Williamson like whimsy, and some Gaelic scat singing as well. The result is a tightly knit maze of individuality and tradition all combined in one seamless whole. Like finely woven cloth, ‘Pipeline’ weaves its magic long after the briefest of encounters. Complex arrangements envelope the tracks and highlights include the epic ‘Adair’s March’ suite based around an eviction in Co. Donegal 150 years ago. This dramatic ‘set piece’ incorporates a narrative song with a march complete with military side drumming and a lament using small pipes. ‘This song tells of something that was very sad and emotional’ Dermot Hyde elaborates ‘I have seen people come out of our shows crying when we have played this on stage. It is a very emotional piece’.

Another extended set that typifies them is the title track ‘Pipeline’ which begins slowly before moving into top gear ‘The Irish are the only race that can go from sad to quiet and happy and aggressive within minutes and we want to get that across in our music’. This is a typical Pipeline move skating from one emotional edge to another painting an aural canvas of mood and energy. In songs to there is also a welcome eye to new fresh material ‘ We want to present new songs and tunes to people they have not heard before. We had plenty of stuff, but wanted to get the mix right, i.e. roughly 2/3 new material in a traditional vein, the rest traditional. In addition, it takes a while to get good new stuff together’.

Dermot Hyde sees the role of the musician as not being just a musician but an entertainer- ‘Its not enough to just have great music and not to be able to present it on stage, people want something more and its our duty to entertain the audience and they have a right to be entertained. They have a right to leave the concert hall saying that they had a good time. We want to do something theatrical with the music because people pay into see us and they deserve to be entertained. I do not think entertainment is a bad word – in fact, what is more important for us as well as the music is the fact that we can entertain people. When people come to a show and they pay their money at the door to see a Pipeline concert, they deserve to go home happy and smiling at the end of the night’.

Pipeline’s story is interesting to say the least. ‘We met at a Folk festival in Austria several years ago, where I played uilleann pipes and Tom was playing the harp’ Dermot Hyde explained. Pipeline decided to be different and be a two-man line up-‘There are so many other 4, 5 piece bands around, and then soloists, that we thought let us try and see how far we can represent and build upon this music with just 2 of us. In addition, it is less problematic in some ways with two people, if your goals are set in the same direction. Which they thankfully are in our case!’.

Dermot Hyde Uilleann Piper, tin whistle player also doubles on Low Whistle, Small Pipes and composes hails, from a musical family, with both his mother – from Malin Head in Co Donegal, and his father playing musical instruments. Growing up with a mixed Scottish and Irish background alternating between Donegal and Glasgow, Dermot first encountered the tin whistle as a youth, a - Irish Music Magazine


Pipeline - debut album 2003.

The 3 tracks provided fairly represent the variety of repetoire in a Pipeline performance. All 3 pieces were wriiten by Dermot except for the Malin Head tune which was written by his brother Brendan.



Time wise, songs are quite important for us, says Hyde. Youre trying to get a sense of history into it. My own opinion about it is that the music wasnt made by us really. Its been passed down from generation to generation, over a long, long period of time. And whilst people have been playing this music, events and things have been happening. So weve got to consider the period of time were taking over. In other words, when you learned a tune from your grandfather, it meant something to him. But he didnt have a recording apparatus to pass it on, so you learned it orally. Its part of the old literary tradition that our forebears grew up in, not just stories, but the music as well. And that was all over Ireland and Scotland. Dermot Hyde